Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Geothermal Conditioning: Critical Sources for Sustainability

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_422

Definition of the Subject

Geothermal conditioning is use of the earth’s thermal energy and storage capacity for heating, cooling, and ventilation. These types of conditioning strategies can transfer heat to the indoor environment using the ground, groundwater, or surface water – resources that are abundant and ubiquitous – to satisfy some or all of the heating load. They can also capitalize on the heat capacity and thermal inertia of the earth and its waters by transferring excess heat from indoors to outdoors, providing cooling with substantially reduced energy consumption from conventional cooling and negligible thermal impact on the outdoor environment.

Geothermal conditioning, like solar conditioning , includes passive and active strategies. Both have a long history. Passive earth sheltering has been used by plant and animal species throughout time. Active geothermal conditioning as defined here for heating, cooling, and ventilation was not broadly tracked until 1995 when...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Building Performance & DiagnosticsCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA